The inclusion of the name Michael Savage on a list issued by the British Home Secretary Jacki Brown of ” undesirables” who would not be permitted entry to Britain, should make any person’s hair stand on end for its sheer scale of outrage.
Savage, the conservative shock jock, who has parlayed his unrepentant brand of conservative ire for more than two decades on U.S. radio and television, was grouped with a multicultural hodge podge of criminals, Islamic preachers, and white supremacists on the same list, instantly transforming him into the new cynosure for international free speech. Jacki Brown has of course acquitted herself in a similar vein over the past few months, when she issued an order to prevent the arrival of Dutch politician Geert Wilders who had been invited to speak in the House of Lords.
Savage, mind you, is no saint. His modus operandi is confrontational and deliberately offensive and does a considerable disservice to the conservative constituency he represents and seeks to influence.
But as Savage himself notes, being grouped with murderers who are in prison for killing Jewish children on buses, seems to be a development that highlights one of the most significant threats to free speech throughout the West.
Savage was cited for his engagement in ” unacceptable behaviour ” that could ” lead to intercommunity violence”. But if giving offense, wanton conduct or offensive behaviour form the principal criteria for debarring individuals from entering the United Kingdom , then many American celebrities such as Howard Stern, Bill Maher and Anne Coulter would have also made the list. So too would have Al Franken, Keith Oldermann and Don Imus.
For the truth is that Savage was singled out, not for his “unaccceptable behavior” but for his conservative views which are not consonant with those of Britain’s cultural and political elite. His condemnation of homosexuality, characterized as “homophobia”, poses an affront and danger to this same elite and to the politically correct universe they inhabit. Objections to gay marriage, Muslim intolerance or foreign influence in the universities must be spoken of discreetly, for fear of the steep economic and social repercussions
The situation is little different in Barack’ Obama’s America. Carrie Prejean, Miss California who , it is alleged, lost her bid to become Miss World because of a stated support for traditional marriage, understands now the costs of tripping the wires of political correctness. That she should suffer outrage, ridicule and punishment for her traditional words and beliefs, is, like Savage’s case on the other extreme, a troubling augur of things to come.
In that light, we should never forget that while England was without doubt the place where the Magna Carta was written, it was also the place where George Orwell wrote 1984 . If so, then lets be reminded of Orwell’s description of his hero, Winston Smith’ s, central dilemma:
“The thought police would get him just the same. He had committed–would have committed, even if he had never set pen to paper–the essential crime that contained all others in itself. “Thoughtcrime”, they called it. Thoughtcrime was not a thing that could be concealed forever. You might dodge successfully for a while, even for years, but sooner or later they were bound to get you.”
The movement for the preservation of free speech around the world could do better than Michael Savage as its latest poster boy. But I would take Savage any day over the prosecutors of thoughtcrime who are surrepetitiously worming their way into the hearts and minds of millions of citizens throughout the West.